New Caledonia (France)

France OKs $25 million for New Caledonia housing

From Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai'i

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Mar. 20) - The French government is to release more than US$25 million to rebuild 1,000 homes in New Caledonia after last week's destruction by Cyclone Erica.

This was announced by the minister in charge of overseas territories, Brigette Giardin, at the end of a 30-hour visit to assess the damage across the French territory

Giardin said she expects New Caledonia's provinces to contribute a further US$17 million to meet the full cost of the emergency housing program.

The cyclone caused two fatalities and left more than a hundred injured.

Communication links to the north are being repaired as are schools, which suffered damage estimated at more than US$15 million.

According to regional news service Oceania Flash, among the most affected areas on New Caledonia's Western coast are the small towns and villages of Bourail, Koné.

In the small village of Pohé, it is estimated that up to 90 percent of crops were destroyed by Erica, which on Friday packed winds gusting over 200 kilometers per hour.

Oceania Flash reports that utility lines, which had been severely affected by Erica, were more than 80 percent restored.